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Surrounded by the two main sandy beaches of Benidorm, Cala Mal Pas is one of the famous seaside resort’s best-kept secrets. This small cove nestled at the foot of the old town’s cliffs boasts a fantastic underwater world, where sargo, wrasse, seabream and damselfish abound. The snorkeling area is quite small (most of the underwater life gathers along the 60 meters-long rocky shore) but definitely worth a visit if you are staying in the “New York of the Mediterranean”.

Zebra seabram at Cala Mal Pas
Rarely sighted at shallow depth, the zebra seabream is frequently reported in Cala Mal Pas.

How to get to the Cala Mal Pas snorkeling spot

Cala Mal Pas is located at the foot of the old town of Benidorm, between Playa Levante Beach and Playa de Poniente, the most famous stretches of sand in the seaside resort. On foot, you can walk to Cala Mal Pas from Playa de Poniente (follow the promenade to the end; the spot is located just behind the small port).

Cala Mal Pas snorkeling map, Benidorm

Water entrance for snorkeling Cala Mal Pas

Enter the water from the small Mal Pas beach.

Cala Mal Pas snorkeling exploration tips

The best snorkeling area is along the rocks which edge the left side of the cove (see map). Children will love the sandy bottoms facing the beach, where many saddled seabream swim around the bathers (↕1-6ft/0.5-1.5m).

At the foot of the small cliff, you’ll swim above a rugged rocky underwaterscape, which then gives way to large sandy beds (↕3-12ft/1-4m). The rocks are covered with Padina, brown algae and a few sea sponges. There are also many anemones and sea urchins between the rocks.

Snorkeler and seabram at Cala Mal Pas, Benidorm
Fish are easy to approach at this spot, like this school of small saddled seabream.

Due to a fishing ban near the beach, Cala Mal Pas is remarkably full of fish. In addition, the beach being very crowded, the fish are used to swimmers and can be easily approached.

While finning along the rocks, you will encounter large schools of salema, two-banded seabream and saddled seabream, as well as some large specimens of sargo and sharpsnout seabream staying close to the reef.

Rarer species, such as gilt-head bream and zebra seabream, are also often spotted on this spot. Twirling around the rocks, many bright-colored ornate wrasse, are great subject for underwater photography.

Gilt head bream at Cala Mal Pas, Benidorm
Big gilt head breams are frequently seen around the rocky areas.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There is a cafeteria a few steps from the beach, above the yacht club. This spot is in the very center of the city, so you’ll find within a few minutes walk a large choice of restaurants and supermarkets, both on the seafront and in the old town.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardYes, in summer
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.